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SA: Still at risk of blackout, one third of solar PV “switching off” to save state, needs $1.5b interconnector bandaid to NSW

Transmission lines, interconnectors. Photo MArcus Wongm

A $1,500 million dollar emergency line  is needed to rescue South Australia from renewable blackouts.  Image: Marcus Wong Wongm


Why do so few see the enormous subsidy cost of keeping the South Australian electricity experiment alive?

Having got too much intermittent, unreliable electricity, the state is still in danger of another statewide blackout. One third of the solar panels on homes are being switched off automatically because the electricity they provide is not just useless, but dangerous. What the state needs is baseload power, but the solution we’re told is to spend another incredible $1.5billion dollars on an interconnector with NSW, presumably so SA gets a lifeline to the reliable coal power in Queensland.

That’s a $1,500,000,000 repair bill for an unreliable system that cost a fortune to build, but is unsustainable without a giant bandaid.

Price rises coming in NSW and QLD:

As more unreliable generation and random green electrons infect the NSW and Qld grids, their cheap baseload providers will also find it harder to compete. The increased downtime will chew out some of their profit margins, but their costs will be almost the same. So, as sure as the sun rises, they will have to raise their charges during the shorter profitable time they operate. Thus costs for electricity per kilowatt hour will rise in NSW and QLD thanks to the increase in useless electricity coming from SA.

The subsidized interconnectors will make property developers and renewables investors happy though. They will profit from the giant transmission lines, paid for by hapless consumers. The new lines will open up vast arid zones where land is cheaper and investors can now afford to build a few more solar and wind plants that were otherwise uneconomic.

Instead of spending $1.5b to subsidize renewables, SA could afford 5 new gas power plants, or could put it towards a new HELE coal plant which would make industry and manufacturing affordable again in the post covid world.

Lest we forget, as I keep saying –there was a cheaper option: Not long back, Port Augusta had a thirty-one year old coal plant generating 520MW.  The Premier could have spent $30 million to keep it going.

Imagine having 1.47 billion dollars to spare to help the nation recover economically? Could have been handy.

SA power link with NSW to avoid blackouts

Emily Cozenza, The West Australian

The South Australian government wants to prevent further statewide power blackouts by developing an interconnector with New South Wales.

Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the interconnector was critical to the long-term security of SA’s electricity system.

“We are still at a real risk of another statewide blackout. We have identified the problem, we’ve asked for expert advice and we’re going to follow that,” he said.

278,000 solar panels on homes threaten to dump too much electricity on the SA grid.

Mr van Holst Pellekaan said an area of concern was that the amount of electricity going into the grid from the 278,000 homes with solar panels could outweigh what was drawn out. “We’re not far away from that. That could create a statewide blackout.

“Up to one-third of all (solar) inverters used in SA have already been cutting themselves off in response to voltage changes. We weren’t aware of that so we’re going to fix that.

Despite getting subsidies and being the cause of the problem, Solar Citizens Campaigner Stephanie Gray, said that curtailing the solar panels needed to be the “last option”. Solar home owners have no idea what a burden their panels are on other electricity consumers. Until the media, or some politicians start to discuss that awkward fact, solar panels owners will remain in the dark and continue to insist on more subsidies and bigger handouts.

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